San Antonio – St. Mary’s University’s baseball team was nationally ranked by PING! Baseball and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper in preseason polls the organizations released this week.

The Rattlers were picked 17th in the nation by PING! Baseball in that organization’s preseason poll. They were ranked during the 2008 season by PING!, but finished the season out of the rankings. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper put the Rattlers at 28th in the nation in their first poll of the season. In both polls the Rattlers were the only Heartland Conference school ranked.

St. Mary’s returns seven field starters and all four starting pitchers from the 2008 team. The Rattlers also brought in an impressive recruiting class of 10 players for this season.

The Rattlers will open the 2009 season on Tuesday, Feb. 3, when they host Tarleton State University at 3 p.m. at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium. The Rattlers finished the 2008 regular season with a 39-17 overall record and a 35-14 mark in Heartland Conference play, good for second place in the league standings. The Rattlers finished the season by winning eight of their last nine games.

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